On Sunday Israel began warning thousands of African migrants that they must leave by the end of March, said officials, under a plan that could see them jailed if they refuse. Immigration authorities spokeswoman Sabine Haddad said that officials began issuing migrants letters on Sunday advising them that they had 60 days in which to leave the country voluntarily.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made an announcement on January 3, with the implementation of a plan to deport about 38, 000 migrants who had entered the country illegally, mainly Sudanese and Eritreans.
This controversial plan gives the migrant until the end of next month to leave voluntarily or face jail and eventual expulsion. Notices are being given only to men without families, said officials.
An Israel newspaper said: “anyone recognised as a victim of slavery or human trafficking, and those who had requested asylum by the end of 2017 but haven’t gotten a response” would be exempt for now. It also added that this left the number subject to near-term deportation at “between 15,000 and 20,000 people.”
The authorities have agreed to give those who agree to leave a grant of $3,5000, a flight ticket and help with obtaining travel documents.
The UN refugee agency has called on Israel to scrap the plan, calling it incoherent and unsafe.
PHOTO CREDITS – Naijaonpoint